Mark Zuckerberg: Hiring the Right People | Summary and Q&A

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May 23, 2011
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Stanford eCorner
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Mark Zuckerberg: Hiring the Right People

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Summary

In this video, the speaker discusses the two most important qualities they look for when hiring. The first quality is raw intelligence, which they believe is more valuable than years of experience. They believe that someone with high intelligence can quickly adapt and learn new things. The second quality is alignment with the company's goals and beliefs. The speaker emphasizes that while skills and experience may be important, without passion and belief in the work, an individual may not perform at their best.

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the two most important things the speaker looks for when hiring?

The two most important things the speaker looks for when hiring are raw intelligence and alignment with the company's goals.

Q: Why does the speaker value raw intelligence over experience?

The speaker believes that someone with raw intelligence can quickly adopt and learn new skills, even if they have limited experience. They see intelligence as a crucial trait that can help individuals excel in different areas.

Q: How does the speaker define raw intelligence?

The speaker defines raw intelligence as the ability to quickly grasp concepts, problem-solve, and learn new things. It is a cognitive ability that allows individuals to adapt and succeed in various situations.

Q: Why does the speaker believe raw intelligence is valuable in a hire?

The speaker believes that someone with high raw intelligence can adapt and learn new skills more quickly than someone with only years of experience. They think that this adaptability makes individuals with raw intelligence more valuable in the long run.

Q: Can someone with raw intelligence but little experience outperform someone with more experience?

Yes, the speaker believes that someone with raw intelligence but little experience can outperform someone with more experience. They argue that a person with high intelligence can quickly learn and excel in roles that the experienced individual might struggle with.

Q: What is the second most important quality the speaker looks for in a hire?

The second most important quality the speaker looks for is alignment with the company's goals and beliefs. They believe that without passion and belief in the work, an individual may not perform at their best.

Q: How does the speaker define alignment with the company's goals?

Alignment with the company's goals refers to sharing the same vision, values, and mission as the company. The speaker wants to ensure that the individuals they hire are genuinely invested in the company's success and are willing to work hard to achieve it.

Q: Why does the speaker believe alignment is important when hiring?

The speaker believes that even if someone is skilled or intelligent, without alignment with the company's goals, they may not put in the effort required to succeed. They argue that passion and belief drive individuals to go above and beyond in their roles.

Q: Can someone with relevant skills but no alignment with the company's goals be a good hire?

The speaker suggests that while someone with relevant skills may be useful, if they lack alignment with the company's goals, they may not put in the effort or develop the necessary expertise to succeed in the long term.

Q: Can someone without engineering experience still be a valuable hire?

Yes, the speaker mentions hiring individuals without much engineering experience but high intelligence and passion. They give an example of hiring electrical engineers with little programming experience but who were motivated and willing to learn. They believe that individuals with the right attitude can be more valuable than those with a purely technical background.

Takeaways

Hiring decisions should prioritize raw intelligence and alignment with the company's goals. Raw intelligence allows individuals to quickly learn and adapt, making them valuable even without extensive experience. Alignment with the company's goals ensures that individuals are passionate and committed to their work, driving them to go above and beyond. Technical skills and experience are important, but without intelligence and alignment, they may not lead to long-term success.

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